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People on the move: Hires and departures at AOL, Financial Times, The Drum and more


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

February 26, 2016 | 6 min read

This week has seen another wave of appointments and departures at brands, media owners and agencies. The Drum has rounded up the key hires below.


AOL has appointed Mark Connon as chief mobile officer of AOL platforms and advertising, a newly created role, and Zac Pinkham to VP International Mobile as the company looks to grow its mobile offering following its acquisition by Verizon last year and the more recent buyout of Millennial Media.

"With Verizon’s deep expertise and investment, and bolstered by our recent acquisition of Millennial Media, AOL is uniquely positioned to lead the global mobile revolution," claimed chief executive Tim Armstrong.

Reporting directly to Armstrong, Connon (pictured) has become responsible for the company’s mobile strategy and to ignite innovation and grow revenue across its global offerings.

Financial Times

The Financial Times has appointed Cait O’Riordan - vice president of product at digital music company Shazam - as its chief product and information officer, leading product and technology across the FT Group.

O’Riordan will lead the development and operations of platform and product strategy at the FT. She will report to chief executive John Ridding, and will be joining the FT executive board in her new role, which is responsible for the company’s global strategy and performance.

The Drum

The Drum has hired its first chief marketing officer with the appointment of Phil Buxton, the former marketing head for Exponential and Tribal Fusion.

Taking up the role from April, Buxton, who was editor of digital publication Revolution as well as head of marketing for iCrossing and Tagman over the years, will lead the continued growth of The Drum brand and raise awareness of all of its services and offerings across the company, including working with the awards and conferences teams, The Drum Network and The Drum Works.

International Business Times

International Business Times has named The Wall Street Journal’s John Crowley as its new editor-in-chief for the UK division.

He will start his role on 29 March and report directly to co-founder and managing director of IBT Media for EMEA, Dev Pragad.

Crowley has held roles at The Wall Street Journal for six years, most recently serving as digital editor EMEA, where he managed the output across the title. Prior to this he served as associated news editor at the Daily Mail, and held roles at the Daily Telegraph.


GroupM media agency network Mindshare has named Ernie Simon as chief executive of North America and Adam Gerhart as chief executive of its US operation.

Simon replaces Colin Kinsella, who joined Mindshare from Digitas in 2013 and is now “leaving for other opportunities.” Previously, Simon served as president of GroupM Consulting. He joined the GroupM family more than ten years ago as global strategic planner director at Mindshare.

Gerhart previously served as west coast lead for Mindshare, where he was tasked with driving "strategy and execution of the agency’s services with key clients."

Mindshare also announced that Cindy Gustafson will now serve as chief strategy officer for the US. She most recently served as managing director of Mindshare’s North American Invention Studio.


International branding agency, Lambie-Nairn has hired the former design director at AKQA Fernando Magan as digital design director.

Magan is set to take up the role later this month and joins from his current role as design director at RedBee, (now Ericsson) where his responsibilities ranged from creative leadership to design solutions and technology across brands including Waitrose, Xbox and Virgin.

At Lambie-Nairn Magan will be tasked with developing the digital capabilities across the agency’s client base, which includes Telefónica, Natural History Museum, BBC Good Food, and Group M.

Havas Lynx

Global healthcare communications agency, Havas Lynx, has bolstered its ranks with a string of new recruits including three award-winning creative directors.

The agency has appointed three seasoned creative directors from non-healthcare backgrounds, welcoming Paul Kinsella, Lou Shipley and Phil Howells to the team.

Kinsella brings over 13 years’ experience from working in agencies such as Euro RSCG WNEK Gosper, Cheetham Bell JWT and BJL, while Shipley brings over 19 years' conceptual copywriting experience from several integrated advertising agencies including the likes of McCanns.

Howells is a multi-award winning creative director with over 30 years’ advertising experience. His portfolio includes work on a variety of campaigns for household names including Sure, Dirt Devil, Shop Direct and John Lewis.


Jaywing has today announced that Ben O’Brien has been promoted to lead the company’s data science arm.

As part of his new role, O’Brien will head up Jaywing’s 60-strong team of data scientists.

O’Brien previously held the role of risk practice director at Jaywing, leading on projects with many of the UK’s largest banks and building societies and utilities companies. In his new role, he will become the company’s lead for data science across risk, marketing, business intelligence and data management consulting practices, delivering integrated services in conjunction with its agency business.

Gyro London

Gyro has appointed Krow’s former marketing chief Fran Caplan to the newly created role of marketing director in charge of gyro London’s growth and reputation.

Caplan spent the last three years as marketing director at Krow, during which time the agency experienced a successful period of growth with the notable addition of Virgin Trains West and East Coast joining its client list. Previously she was at St Luke’s, Brothers & Sisters and McCann London as a new business consultant.

She starts at gyro with immediate effect. She joins the London management trio of managing director Kate Howe, executive creative director David Harris and head of strategy and media, Jake Dyer.

Want to get your career on the move? Check out The Drum Job page and follow @TheDrumJobs for updates.

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